merry christmas!

9:04:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Tomorrow is a big day around here... our 1st Christmas as a family of three! We're on our way home to NC for the holidays this weekend, so before we go we're having our own Christmas morning. Today is for wrapping presents, packing bags, and lots of baking!


Christmas card courtesy of Tiny Prints



dear Logan (10 months)

8:54:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

My sweet little angel,


Another month is behind us. Another month of smiles and laughter, kisses and giggles. You have become such a sweet little boy, always offering big, sloppy kisses when you see me, and wrapping your little arms tight around my neck at bedtime. You've battled one illness after another this month, which means lots of extra snuggles and naps together. My heart breaks for you and your stuffy little nose, but I don't mind the extra attention.


You're still in daycare two days each week. I wish I had the chance to see what your day is like when you're there, but your teachers think you're perfect. Always smiling, never crying, and sharing your happy energy with the world.


For so long you've been such a great eater, never turning down anything offered to you. But here lately you are learning your preferences, and turning your nose up to most veggies that make their way to your plate. You love to feed yourself, and daddy and I have learned to keep you entertained at restaurants with a plate full of lemons.


You have graduated from your baby bathtub, and you have really embraced playtime in the big bathtub at night. You only have one little rubber ducky to play with, but it's hard to get you out of the bath now. You splash and giggle, and swim yourself in circles.


You are the most ticklish little boy I have ever seen. Your daddy and I love to torture you with endless tickles until your laughter turns to snorting. Even when I put lotion on your cheeks at night, you can't control yourself. It is impossible not to share the laughter with you.


You have finally mastered the art of crawling... army crawling, that is. You are fully capable of getting on all fours, but with the slick hardwood floors you much prefer to slide yourself across the house. And you move fast. You rarely pull yourself up, but with a little help you will stand at your table and play for an hour. You also love to get around in your walker, but haven't quite figured out how to go forward. You can hold my hands and walk pretty far, too. I don't think it will be long before you're running all over this house.


You are waving all the time now! One of my very favorite things. You're starting to clap too, but its still a work in progress. You have a soft little grunt when you're sleepy, and you still roll those "r"s just before you get fussy. My little Cuban jumping bean :)


Christmas is just around the corner, and shortly after we will be celebrating your first birthday. It still seems unreal. The longest 10 months of my life followed by the fastest year of my life... and all together the happiest and greatest time I could have ever imagined. Life is far too short.


Love you forever,



the countdown is on!

8:27:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

I always have lofty goals and ideas for the holiday season (even before Pinterest), and sadly I never find enough time to get them all done.


I have been more than stressed the last few weeks, knowing I need to let go of at least half of my to-do list if I ever have a chance at the rest of it.


Then I battled illness for a week.... And lost of week of potential crafting and creativity. We weren't able to get our tree the day after Christmas (which is so important to me!) because I was stuck in bed. Our house is still tree-less, and my decorations are still lost in the attic somewhere.


I have done two Christmas photo shoots with Logan... And am planning a third this weekend because I still don't have the look I'm going for.


I'm trying not to think about the last few weeks (i.e. the month of November) as a complete failure, and instead I'm trying to focus and be positive for the weeks to come.


So I am spending the early hours of this morning drinking coffee and planning the next few weeks... Because lists and calendars always make my type-A self feel a little better.


Wish me luck... T minus 25 days until Christmas!



thank you!

11:56:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

3x5 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

I love Shutterfly! While I was busy ordering Christmas cards, I came across these adorable thank you cards. I've been in love with this bathtime picture of Logan since I first took it and loved an excuse to put it on display. Wouldn't you love to get this in the mail? I can't wait to send them out!


for Maddie

7:41:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments

Logan attended his first birthday party this weekend, to celebrate Maddie turning one!

He was such an angel baby at the party. I received so many compliments about how well behaved and laid back he was, despite the chaos around him. He sat and played, but mostly he observed everyone and everything. You could just see the little wheels turning in his head as he took it all in. When other kids played with him, he smiled. When they took his toys, he found new ones. No meltdowns, no tantrums. He was so content that I forgot to feed him and forgot to change him until his diaper had completely soaked through.

For Maddie's gift I crocheted an adorable toddler hat, and my first big flower to embellish it. I can't wait to have a little girl!

I made a basic double crochet hat, added a scalloped edge, and used this pattern for the flower. It was easy and quick! 

Now back to hats in all shades of blue...


small, but mighty

6:56:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments

At his 9 month appointment, Logan weighed 16.5 lbs (1st percentile) and measured 27 inches tall (18th percentile).

Small, but mighty. And healthy.

At 9 1/2 months, we finally have teeth! Little man's two bottom teeth popped through this week, without any meltdowns or sleepless nights. Now that is something to be thankful for!


table for three.

9:28:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments


dear Logan (9 months)

8:44:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

My sweet little angel,

You are 9 months old and full of life. The thing that people compliment you most on, after your gorgeous big blue eyes and irresistible dimples, is that you are such a happy baby. You have your moments at home, but out in the world you light up and capture every room with your generous smiles and squeals of delight. You make me so proud. You may be laid back and reserved, but you are definitely a charmer.

The days are sometimes long, but the weeks and months are flying by us. You are growing into your personality more and more each day. I hold you close at night and can hardly remember those first few days after bringing you home. It's as if you've always been here.

 I never want to forget the way your head fits perfectly on my chest, or the little dance you do with your fingers when you are really excited. I want to cherish every early morning snuggle, the way you tenderly caress my face, and the quiet sigh of relief you make every time you look up and see that I am still here with you.

They say the best things come in the smallest packages, and I couldn't agree more. My heart is so full, yet it grows more and more with each and every passing day. A lifetime with you will never be enough. I hope you feel the endless love that surrounds you.

forever & always,


this kid loves to eat!

3:19:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments




be thankful (3 & 4)

10:49:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

 Jaclyn (@jaclynarmstrong)

11/3/12, 10:07 PM
3: Thankful for amazing friends that feel like family. #30days
I have been blessed with some of the most amazing friends in my life. My best friend back home still feels like a sister every time I see her, despite losing touch for months at a time far too often. She is such an important part of my life, Nick's life, and now Logan's life. I could talk to her every day, and it wouldn't be enough. We could live 5 miles apart, and it would still be too far.

When I moved to Tennessee, it was just me & Nick. I knew no one. I slowly made a few acquaintances, but it wasn't until I met two of my best friends that Nashville began to feel like home. We have been through relationships together, weddings and marriage, and now we are raising families. Together. They are my Tennessee family and I would be lost without them. We've celebrated milestones and holidays. We've grown into a new stage in our lives. And I'm so thankful to have them by my side.

Jaclyn (@jaclynarmstrong)

11/4/12, 8:42 PM
4: Thankful to have parents that have supported me through everything, and taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. #30days
 My parents raised me with strong morals and values, but they also respected my own opinions and choices as I grew up. I've made decisions that I know they probably didn't agree with, but they have supported every single one of them. Not once in my life have I ever heard them say I told you so. Somehow they found the perfect balance in guiding your children in the right direction and letting them make their own mistakes. I've never had to questions their love or support of me, and for that I am grateful.


working mama: d-day

10:25:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments

I've spent the last 48 hours browsing, researching, and over analyzing a backpack and lunch box for little man to take to daycare. I've compared sizes and materials, read hundreds of reviews, and stared at the same pictures over and over. Nick thought I was going completely insane. He didn't understand why it mattered... Just pick one! I began to wonder what was wrong with me, when I became this level of crazy, when it hit me... the more I stress about the perfect backpack and lunch box, the less I have to stress about the fact that Logan is starting daycare tomorrow.

This is how I deal with things. I can't handle the amount of anxiety that is growing inside of me as we near D-day, so I stress about the things that I have control over. Right now, all I have is a backpack and lunch box to distract me from what I'm really feeling inside. So in the hours leading up to tomorrow morning, I have researched, shopped, and spent hours creating lists and schedules and labeling everything I own with the name of the most precious thing in the world to me.

I still may be a little crazy. Probably a lot of crazy. But tonight I feel a little better packing Logan's things in a ridiculously overpriced toddler-sized backpack, and you can't put a price on peace of mind.

I was busy running around the house tonight getting everything ready when I said to Nick that I couldn't believe how stressed and anxious I was. He simply replied, it's just like every other night before your first day of school. Except that tomorrow when Logan is meeting new people and learning his new surroundings, I won't be there with him. I won't be there to protect and comfort him, and share in his excitement and awe of new things. I won't put him down for his naps, I won't feed him his meals, and I won't be there to tell him that everything will be okay. It's a big day for him, but an even bigger step for me as I learn to lose just the right amount of control and begin the long road of trusting that I am doing what is best for Logan.


be thankful (day 2)

8:34:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Jaclyn (@jaclynarmstrong)

11/2/12 5:42 PM

2: Thankful there was a different plan for me than the one I had for myself. #30days



This photo hit me hard. I've shared my dreams of joining the Army Reserves Nurse Corp (here), and finding out I was pregnant with Logan just before finalizing my paperwork for the board review. I made that decision at a time i didn't think Nick and I would ever have children. But the reality of the life of a female soldier and mom hit me when I saw the raw emotion on this oldier's face. I can't imagine deploying for months or a year at a time, only interacting with Logan through Skype. I can't imagine coming home to a child that doesn't even really know me. I know how hard it is for Nick to leave Logan, and the longest he's been gone so far is 3 weeks. As a mother, I can't imagine being separated from my son. This could have been me. The strength and bravery of this mother is inspiring. I've never been more in awe of a mothers love.




I wanted so badly to share this photo with Nick... share my emotions, heartache, and what could have been. But at the last minute I decided against it, because sadly Nick will have to face this reality next year. He doesn't need to be reminded of the road ahead.


be thankful (day 1)

11:32:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Jaclyn (@jaclynarmstrong)

11/2/12 1:21 AM

1: Thankful to have a career I can take pride in, especially when the days are exhausting and the nights are long. #nursetweets #30days

By now we have all seen the tremendous impact of Hurricane Sandy on the east coast. It is one of the most devastating natural disasters of my lifetime. So many stories have been shared of heroic efforts within communities, but the ones that always stand out to me are the stories of nurses and their efforts under horrendous circumstances. (You can read about the brave nurses that manually ventilated tiny NICU babies to safety here.) Nurses worked long exhausting hours without eating, without breaks, and without proper medical equipment to save lives. As they always do. I have never been more proud to be a nurse.

I complain about my job a lot. I complain about management and hospital administration, redundant policies, understaffing, lack of support, arrogant and impossible doctors, poor communication, etc. But the fact is, despite the shortcomings in the medical field, I love what I do. I love having a career that I can be proud of. I love the genuine appreciation I receive from patients daily, and watching patients walk out of our doors healthier and smiling after far too many days in our care. I love providing safety and companionship to an elderly dementia patient without any family. I love being a nurse.

I work on a surgical oncology unit. I'm with some patients for weeks on end as they recover from a complicated surgery. I'm with other families as they struggle with the shock and heartache of a new cancer diagnosis. I watch some patients fall apart as they live out their final days of a poor prognosis. I offer a listening ear and a helping hand, and wipe their tears away. I am humbled every day.

Nursing is such a challenging job, but also so very rewarding. I'm usually exhausted and counting down the days or hours until my next day off. But I always have great pride when I get to share what I do for a living with someone else. And that is the best part of the job.



am I mom enough?

10:16:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

As I sat down after putting Logan to bed tonight, I began scrolling through facebook. I saw picture after picture of cute kids dressed in the most adorable costumes. Some out trick or treating, others at church or community festivals. Some were much older than Logan, but many were babies his age or even younger.

The sad thing is, I never once thought about taking Logan out tonight to celebrate Halloween. Sure, I dressed him up on Sunday and we spent the afternoon at a festival in Murfreesboro. But most of today I didn't even realize it was Halloween.

I know it sounds silly, but I felt like a failure as a mom. A feeling I'm all too familiar with, and most moms can probably relate to. It doesn't matter what I do, I constantly question if I'm doing everything I can for Logan. Do we play outside enough? Do I read to him enough? Am I feeding him enough? Do I play with him enough? Is he as happy and healthy as he could possibly be?

I stress about his size as other babies grow bigger and taller. If he's the last of his friends to crawl, I wonder what I'm doing wrong. I still haven't forgiven myself for breastfeeding for only 7 months instead of the 12-15 I had planned. Yes, it's better than nothing, but I always wonder what I could have done differently to keep things going longer.

Sometimes I think I'm doing my best, but the truth is we can always do more. And that thought plays over and over in my mind every night. No one can help me with my insecurities but myself. Motherhood is stressful in a way I never could have imagined.

I've disabled comments for this post because despite what it may sound like, I'm really not looking for any words of encouragement. I know no one would really think I was a terrible mom. You could tell me a thousand times that I'm doing a great job, and I will still be hard on myself. At the end of the day I have a beautiful baby boy who knows he is loved more than anything in this world. That has to count for something.

vote for Logan!

8:17:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 2 Comments

Logan has entered his first Halloween costume contest, for bragging rights of course.

Go to A Night Owl blog, click "vote" above the cutest superbaby (#11), and check out all of the other creative and adorable costumes.

In case you forgot just how cute he is, here's one more picture :)






11:25:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 3 Comments

Is he not the cutest Superman you've ever seen?!?

I didn't have the time to make Logan's first Halloween costume as elaborate as I would have liked, but this is what I came up with for less than $10 and only an hour of my Saturday afternoon (and a refusal to use my sewing machine). Honestly, I would have bought his costume this year for convenience, but I couldn't find anything to fit my little petite baby!

I used a white onesie that we already owned (complete with a few stains around the collar from baby drool), and applied an iron-on Superman patch from Hobby Lobby. A blue onesie would have been more true to Superman's outfit, but white was already hanging in the closet.

I used a red Fuzzibunz diaper from our stash, which he wore without an insert over his real diaper and onesie. I used 1.5 inch yellow ribbon and created a belt using Tacky Glue and pre-cut velcro (previously purchased for paci clips).

I chose red fleece to make his cape, so that the unfinished cut edges wouldn't look quite so bad. It ended up being the perfect choice of material, as his cape doubled as a blanket at the windy fall festival we attended. I didn't use a pattern of any sort for the cape, only trial and error with my little baby model. I accordian folded each 2" end of the top and secured with Tacky Glue to give it a little dimension. I attached a zigzag red ribbon to the inside top of the cape with more glue, and loosely tied it around his neck.

The final accessory was a pair of red leg warmers from his sock collection (I believe they're made by Baby Legs?), over a pair of gray socks I put on him at the last minute for warmth.

I have to say, I'm a little proud of how cute it turned out given the very little effort I put into making it. I could have easily obsessed over every detail of his costume for weeks, but I'm so glad I didn't.

I can't wait to see all of the other adorable diy Halloween costumes!


lately (in links)

10:40:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

  • Whether you think he did or didn't, I think we can all agree that this is a sad day in sports. He was (and is?) such a hero to so many people.
  • I don't care who you are, baby announcements always put a smile on my face. Yay for newborn snuggles!
  • I hope everyone reads this. I wish I could say I'm surprised.
  • What a beautiful, beautiful girl. Inside and out. Such an inspiration.
  • I just found this community to share my journey. It's amazing how things always present themselves when you need them the most.
  • This perspective on marriage couldn't be more true. It reminds me that I really did marry my best friend.
  • I don't even know what to say about this. I'm definitely not mature enough to watch it with a straight face!
  • My jaw is still on the floor after reading some of these stories. A few are so crazy you have to believe them.


lately (in links)

12:00:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments

  • My heart breaks for this girl and her family. Technology is such a powerful, and dangerous, part of our world. How can you learn from your mistakes and move on when they haunt you for the rest of your life online?
  • I'm still shaking my head over this story. I haven't read all of the details, but I've heard enough. If I'm selling my body for money, I better be making more than $150,000 in 18 months! Seriously.
  • Every mom should read this advice. I know I need to make some changes in my own life, for me and my family.
  • I'm running out of time for Logan's Halloween costume! Here are a few of my favorites (and my new pinterest addiction).
  • I will definitely be crocheting these perfect little boots for Logan. One of my new favorite blogs (thank you Dottie)!
  • This book is amazing. Can't. Put. It. Down.
  • Guess I won't be dressing up as a skunk this year for Halloween after all. This sounds like a bad SNL skit.


The pumpkin patch.

8:54:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 3 Comments

A beautiful, cool fall day.

Hot apple cider.


The pumpkin patch.

A perfect Sunday.